Introduction to Ureshino Tea
Hizen the birthplace of Japanese Green Tea
The birthplace of Japanese green tea was in the old prefectural area of Hizen (now known as Saga) and Nagasaki in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan . In 1191 a Buddhist monk named Eisai brought seeds back from China and germinated them in Kyushu to begin the tradition of Japanese Green Tea which then led to “Uji-tea” spreading to Suruga (Shizuoka) in Japan.
Ureshino town is famous for its natural hot springs and Green Tea. It still uses the production method brought to Japan by Koreimin, a Chinese potter in 1504. He brought his own roasting bowl and began tea cultivation so that he could indulge his love of tea. The roasting of the leaves in a bowl is called kamairicha this method of tea production has remained unchanged for 560 years in Ureshino. The method of preparation is still a rarity, though, and unusual even in Japan; only 4% of green tea is prepared in this traditional way.